Book Talk: Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna ReboliniPublic Relations by Katie Heaney, Arianna Rebolini
Published by Grand Central on May 9, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Young PR star Rose Reed is thrown into the big leagues when her boss leaves town the day of the firm's meeting with Archie Fox, a young, hot, internationally famous British singer-songwriter. The meeting is going badly until Rose suggests a staged romance with up-and-coming, young indie star Raya. He'll do it, but only if Rose becomes his publicist. As the faux-mance begins to rehabilitate Archie's faltering career, Rose finds his herself having unexpected, inconvenient and definitely unprofessional feelings for the crooner. But do late night texts and impromptu burrito binges mean he feels the same? In the end, Rose will have to decide whether to let her fantasy crush go, or to risk her reputation to be with the charming, handsome, scoundrel-y but sweet pop star she's grown to love.

Finding adult contemporary romances that work for me has been a bit of a struggle. I’m more into the rom-com kind than the more traditional kind, and those are a bit hard to find since the crash of “chick lit” and Red Dress Ink. Ever since The Hating Game, though, I’ve has a desperate need for more truly exceptional contemporary romance. Public Relations was exactly what I needed, a fun romantic comedy that adds some depth to the traditional celebrity romance trope.

Now I love the hell out of the celebrity romance trope. And the royal romance trope. They’re not believable generally, but they’re so much fun, and there’s nothing wrong with escapism. Public Relations stands out for actually not requiring that much suspension of disbelief. Rose works as a junior publicist for a legit firm, and she’s on the fast track in the career. It’s actually totally reasonable for her to meet and spend time with a celebrity.

There’s a lot that I really love about Rose’s career. For one thing, there’s a real focus on her job. It may not be majorly detailed, but there’s a constant drumbeat focus on the fact that Rose works, and she works hard. She’s always on Twitter, keeping an eye on her clients, and she exhibits several clever strategies for turning her client’s reputation around.

Not only that but Rose is super passionate about her career. Although she initially wanted to be a music journalist (I also love that this book shows that sometimes dreams aren’t actually achievable even if you work hard because honestly that’s the truth), but she discovered public relations and realized that she loved that too. It allows her to work closely with musicians and gives her power to influence taste. There’s a scene I love where she defends her career working in pop culture to a rich, straight white man who thinks it’s silly and unnecessary, and girl PREACH.

Rose mostly lucks but somewhat talents her way into managing Archie Fox for her PR firm. (I say luck only because she wasn’t supposed to be at the meeting that day, and she’s lucky that his agent took a chance on a newbie, not because she didn’t deserve it.) The two quickly become friends, and over times she starts feeling inconvenient feelings. Obviously, we all know where this is going, but the way it plays out is really nice and cute and slow burn-y.

Also, I actually really love that Rose initially parlays her sexual tension into a renewed interest in Tinder. She even goes on a few dates with a guy who is both hot and pretty nice. That’s something that’s also great: Neil isn’t a bad guy, and he’s not a second love interest or a real jealousy plot point. It feels like he’s in the story because that’s what a woman’s life is like in her mid-twenties, more than to accomplish a narrative goal. His character doesn’t get assassinated in any way, and he’s a fairly likable, albeit weird, guy.

Pretty much the only flaw of Public Relations from my perspective is that there isn’t quite enough of it. I wanted a bit more of Archie and Rose together. I think maybe they needed a bit more bliss before the inevitable discovery and a bit more before the book ended. I always like just a bit of time to see the couple really being together to see how well they work in actuality. I mean, I absolutely ship it, but I feel like it could have had just a bit more oomph.

I loved this book. Once I started, I only put it down to sleep, and that grudgingly. If you enjoy celebrity romances or contemporaries with a bit of a broader focus than just the romance itself, I highly recommend Public Relations.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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